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Jim Caudill

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  • core_pfield_13
    machining and metal fabrication


  • core_pfield_11
    USAF pilot from May 1977 til July 1984. Flew C-130's from Dyess AFB 1979 - 1981 the returned to ATC as a T-37 Instructor Pilot. Flew briefly as a commuter airline pilot and then flew corporate aircraft for the next 14 years.
  • core_pfield_12
    Fairborn, Ohio
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  1. Seems to me there was an auxillary light in the cockpit that could be used to shine on the nacelles or wings, or whatever. This was something like a 5 or 6 inch sealed beam affair, with a handle. I thought it was called an "Altus Light" or maybe "Altos Lamp", you get the idea. I have searched thru my old dash-one and can't find any reference to it. Is my memory that bad? Maybe this was something that was only used up thru the "E" models and I flew "H" models out of Dyess. Can someone "enlighten" me? (pun intended)
  2. I was a pilot with the 773 from 1979 to 1981. I knew crew members on both the 1980 crash and the 1982 crash. The 1980 crash occurred on March 14, 1980 and was due to a lightning strike that caused one of the internal fuel tanks in the wing to explode. This aircraft was carrying a number of civilians, incuding a teen "rock & roll" band that was to perform at another base. Our squadrom was on rotation and I had just returned to Mildenhall the week before, after flying a 17day stint in Turkey. Our crew was serving as the admin crew when we dispatched this crew to Turkey just 2 days prior to the crash. The regular nav on this crew (Brian Gomula) was not on board and was substituted by LtCol Benjamin Barnette that had just arrived to be the "on-site" commander for our operations in Turkey. I had flown with most of the crew members including the co-pilot Mike Jones (we were at Little Rock together and at Laughlin when I was going thru UPT) The other crash on April13, 1982 was with a sister squadron, but the A/C was from my squadrom (773). His name was Dean VanDam (we called him Dino or Deano). I flew with, and trained in the sim, with Dino. He was trying to build up enough overseas TDY time to qualify as a remote tour - hence his volunteer status with the other squadron. He was also "best buddies" with Rick Wagner (the A/C of the prior 1980 crash). His crash came within about a month of being 2 years since we lost the other crew. The VanDam crash was due to missing and failed engine mount bolts. There had been an emergency T.O. inspection, requiring a check of the torque, on all engine mount bolts. Apparently some of these inspections had been falsified to get aircraft back in the air. Allegedly, some that knew this, and insisted that the aircraft being deployed on rotation go thru a "second" inspection. Maintenance personell, thinking that the aircraft had already been inspected just a few months prior, "pencil whipped" the second inspection. This aircraft was later determined to have been missing an engine bolt and had another one loose. The failure occurred when number four (starboard outer) engine mount failed, destroyed number three (starboard inner) engine, and the wing broke. Among the passengers of this flight was an entire IG team. FYI the 773rd experienced a couple of other crashes during this time period: In Sept. 1981 another crash occurred in the Nevada desert on a special night mission killing 7 Army soldiers. This was a controlled flight into terrain, during a blackout landing attempt. I know a fair amount of this one from hearsay, but won't share it on this forum. Also, in June 1983 another 773rd C-130 crashed at Nellis Air Force Base during a Red Flag exercise, near Las Vegas, Nev., killing six.
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